Día Turns 25

Each year on April 30, libraries, schools, parks, and community organizations across the nation observe El día de los niños, El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). This year is no exception as El día de los niños, El día de los libros, also known as Día, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Conceived of in 1996, Día is the brainchild of renowned children’s book author Pat Mora. The idea came to her after learning about the annual Mexican tradition of celebrating El día del niño (the Day of the Child). El día del niño was an outgrowth of the first “World Conference for the Well-being of Children” held in Switzerland in 1925.

In a 1996 interview, Mora said, “As a mom I knew that children often ask, ‘Why do we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and not Children’s Day?’ As a reader, I wanted (and want) to foster bookjoy. Ah ha, I thought. What if we link a celebration of children with literacy, an issue central to the well-being of children?”

Despite the fact that this year’s anniversary celebrations may be modified in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, Pat Mora remains optimistic that schools and families will find creative ways to commemorate the occasion.

“Although this is a challenging year for the world and our country, I have great faith that families, schools, libraries and literacy organizations will generously and creatively inspire our children to be readers. An easy April 30th celebration idea is Triple Treat for the 25th: excite our children to read a book, draw a poster and enjoy a treat,” says Mora.

For teachers and librarians interested in designing a Día program for their students, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has published a downloadable resource guide at http://dia.ala.org/sites/default/files/resources/DiaResourceGuide.pdf.

Additionally, several organizations including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association have published a toolkit for children and families. The downloadable Día Family Book Club Toolkit is available at http://dia.ala.org/sites/default/files/resources/Dia13_Toolkit_print_0%20%281%29_0.pdf.

For more information about Día, visit https://www.patmora.com/whats-childrens-day-book-day/.

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